The Meaning of Fish in a Dream

"Mystic Mermaid IIi" by Shijun Munns
“Mystic Mermaid IIi” by Shijun Munns

Advent Calender Day 18: Fish

Welcome to the eighteenth day of the Dream Well advent calender!  Today I am writing in response to a question I received about fish in dreams.

Of course, we cannot write about fish symbolism without looking at it’s extreme importance in Christianity.  The fish is beleived to have become a symbol from the 5 Greek letters for the word fish “Ichthys” which words briefly but clearly described the character of Christ and His claim to the worship of believers “Iesous Christos Theou Yios Soter”, i.e. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour.  Fish are strongly associated with the Eurcharist.  Jesus is also known to have performed a miracle by multiplying fishes after the Resurrection. (source: Catholic Encyclopedia.)  To a Christian, a dream of a fish is likely to have a more specific meaning than to someone of another faith, or of no specific religion, who dreams of fish.  Such dreams can be symbolic of a connection with the divine, or receiving spiritual guidance or support, or even an indication of scriptures that may prove helpful at a certain period of your life

Prior to Christianity, Pagans also used the fish symbol.  Fish, coming from the water or source of life, were often associated with fertility, creativity as well as with wisdom.  A woman may dream of fish when she is pregnant, or trying to conceive.  Men may also dream of fish if they are desiring to start a family.  Certain fish have specific associations, such as salmon, who symbolise determination and courage, due to their ability to swim upstream and return to their birthing place.  In Celtic stories, eating salmon imparted wisdom.  In astrology, the fish, known as Pisces, are associated with feelings, intuition, dreams and secrecy.  They are know for their sensitivity, but also seem unable to show strength of conviction, and seem “wishy washy” or flip-flop with their ideas.  This haziness of nature can be better understood when we realise that fish move in the realms of imagination, and sometimes distinguishing what is real can be a challenge.  In dreams, fish can ask us to consider what we know, what we feel, what we dream and what we wish… and to understand the difference.

One of the most significant aspects to the fish in general is its very ability to live in an element in which we can not naturally survive.  As fish breathe in water, their associations with all that water symbolises is also strong.  Fish in a dream can symbolise becoming adept at surviving in a new environment, or we may suddenly feel like we know what we are doing and are “in our element.”  Conversely, if we dream of a fish that has been taken from the sea, it may symbolise that  we feel very uncomfortable with a new situation, and feel “like a fish out of water.”  To dream of a mermaid or merman may symbolise and integrating of the qualities of water, or imagination and feelings, with more physical attributes in day to day life.  They may also represent mastering an ability to bring ideas from the depths of our subconscious to the surface, or to navigate the seas of our emotions with greater ease.

If we dream of a fish being caught on a line, it may symbolise our fear or recognition of being betrayed or fooled by someone, that there is a story we fell for “hook, line and sinker.”  To dream of losing a fish we are trying to catch can be a sign of a lost opportunity or a missed chance, literally the “one that got away.”  Alternatively, catching a fish may symbolise that we are bringing something from our subconscious to the surface, that is, we may be becoming conscious of repressed feelings, or we could be having a really creative break-through idea.

As fish often swim in large schools and are used a highly nutrient rich source of food, they are often associated with abundance.  We use the phrase “there are plenty more fish in the sea” to express this in a way.  Fish in dreams of this sort may assure us there is no reason to fear loss, and to be confident of receiving that which we need.

To dream of a school of fish can also represent a need to belong to a larger group, of the safety and comfort in heading in the same direction as many other like minded people.  Or it may be a fear of losing one’s identity, and simply becoming one of many in a sea of sameness.  Dreams like this can encourage us to break out and pursue our own dreams and goals, regardless of what others around may say to try and coerce us to conform.

The sustaining element of fish as food can be symbolic in dreams of a part of our inner world receiving nourishment, often that our spiritual or emotional nature is be nurtured and sustained.  And as fish live and breathe in water, they are masters of the domain of emotions, inner life, dreams and intuition.  Dreams of a single fish, swimming with a fish or like a fish, can be profound symbols of connecting with our deeper selves.  Fish in a dream can symbolise the flow of life, of transformation and creation.  They can symbolise a development of emotional perceptiveness, or learning to trust our instincts.  Fish can symbolise the creation of new ideas, new ways of living that sustain and nurture us or even the start of new life itself.

You may also be interested in:

The meaning of water in dreams

The meaning of tidal waves in dreams

The meaning of food and eating in dreams

Is your life going on long just swimmingly right now?
Is your life going along just swimmingly right now?

Thanks for the beautiful art work to Shijun Munns

An interesting reflection that may be of interest is here: Intersect Margie Pierce and Meister Eckhart

17 thoughts on “The Meaning of Fish in a Dream

  1. Some one dreamed me being a mermaid and me telling her that I love her what is this dream mean?

  2. Good day, thanks for the important dream interpretations. Please I would like to know the meaning of a dog attack in a dream. Thanks a lot.

  3. tony Mabini

    I dreamed that I caught two fish last night. Can you tell me what is this dream interpretation means?

  4. I dreamed of being at a boat dealership and seeing a small boat in the shape of a fish. I was happy to see it, and said that I really liked it. It was up on a stand(?). The bottom part was made of light blue rope, not being filled in in between. When I first saw it, the front was to my left, I then walked around the back of it to the other side.

  5. i had a dream i was at school at lunch and was eating a fish that was red . the lunch lady still had the fish cut in healf but it still had eyes and mouth, just the upper half basically.

  6. Hopefully somebody will read this and help me out. I had a dream last night, my hair was looking weird and I was standing on front of a mirror. I started to run my fingers through my hair and fish started to come out. Some dead, some alive. They were small and grey. I’m a girl, and I am Christian although not religious.

  7. I had a dream a lady (don’t know who she was) and I were driving through the woods. She was like driving all over and we came to this small like pond. i said stop or we are going to fall in. We stopped and just one single fish was in there. and then we turned around and went the other way to find a road to get back on.

  8. I had dream about caging fishes with a basket upside down underwater and there was
    An octopus too..The small octopus got out & then inside my mouth. While
    Trying to take it out it’s hand got seperated/broken..
    To get it’s weird taste out I tried to vomit?!! So this was literally the WEIRDEST dream I ever had.

  9. I dream of clear sky and suddenly it turn black fill with twinkling stars. When i called to my mum to come out and watch and i immediately took my hand phone to snap the amazing scene, suddenly the skies turn into animal kingdom and my hand phone turn into a swimming pond on my screen filled with fish and suddenly it turns into a alien with a hissing sound.I was shock and throw away my phone.
    Then i saw a bull with horn on sky looking down at me. i knew i had to pick up my phone and the moment i picked it up , it was crying like a baby.

    I was scared and i immediately wake up.

  10. I had a dream I lived in the ocean and had a beautiful pet fish, it loved me so much when I returned to live on land it wanted to follow me. I tried to not let it follow me a I knew it would die but I couldn’t stop it. Sadly it died and I was left extremely sad. I loved that little fish 🙁

  11. I dreamed about goldfish. They were in a tank that looked like a cage and all the big goldfish were dead, but there were few little regular sized goldfish that are alive, wrapped in plastic just like in pet stores, but is still in that huge tank. The fish condition is not good in the tank, the water was not that clean and I was afraid that the other living fish might be poisoned. But there is this one little fish that swam out of the tank, and continued swimming in the air to the sky. I wasn’t very shocked seeing it flew away, but I thought maybe it just got sick inside the tank and decided to leave. It doesn’t look very healthy for some of his scales fell off and his fins looked damaged.
    By the way, I am pregnant. What do you think this means?

  12. hello , I dreamed of a wooden fish sculpture, about two feet in length. he gave me a fish. it was pretty heavy . I saw myself helping this guy unboxing the wood sculpture and than about few minutes later he comes up to me and said, here thanks for me helping me.what does it mean

  13. Please explain for me what it means to see myself getting under the sea and reaching a nice dry place only to be handed over a few big fish scaled.

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